12 Days of Cookies – Day 2: Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms

Decorated as Christmas trees, these holiday cookies are a fun twist on the classic peanut butter blossoms and are perfect for your cookie swap or holiday party!

Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms | JavaCupcake.com

Today is Day 2 of 12 Days of Cookies on Java Cupcake!  On Day 1 I brought you beautiful Frosted Sugar Cookies and today I’ve got a classic cookie for you… with a twist!

Peanut Butter Blossoms are one of my most favorite cookies to make during the Christmas season.   Maybe it’s because peanut butter and chocolate is my most favorite flavor combination IN THE WORLD… or maybe it’s because they’re just so cute… or maybe it’s because they’re just so darn easy to make!

It’s probably all of the above.

Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms | JavaCupcake.com

I’ve been making these cookies for as long as I can remember.  Sometimes, I’d even make them when it wasn’t Christmas, but that somehow just felt wrong.  So, that didn’t happen that often.

But this year, I was inspired to do something a little bit different with these cookies.  Spice things up a bit and get creative!  I turned the traditional cookies into super fun, super cute Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms! It was super easy too! All I needed was green frosting and holiday sprinkles!   They took just a few minutes to decorate but they create an immense impression!

Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms | JavaCupcake.com

These Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms would be perfect for a holiday party, cookie swap or on your cookie platter for Christmas!

Festive.  Fun. Delicious!

Enjoy!

Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 4 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 48 Hershey's Kisses chocolate candies
  • ½ cup shortening (I used Crisco)
  • ¾ cup Peanut Butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ sugar, for rolling
  • green frosting
  • red, green, & white holiday sprinkles
  • disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton #4 piping tip
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.
  3. Add ⅓ cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.
  4. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.
  5. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
Assembly
  1. NOTE: Cookies must be completely cooled & chocolate hardened before decorating.
  2. Fill the prepared piping bag with green frosting.
  3. Starting at the base of the Hershey Kiss, pipe a line of frosting that swirls up & around to the top of the kiss.
  4. Immediately sprinkle with holiday sprinkles.

Want more cookies?

Check out the main page for the 12 Days of Cookies and you’ll find the links to all the recipes! Next cookie will be posted tomorrow!

12 Days of Cookies - Day 2  | JavaCupcake.com

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Before Christmas, I made peanut butter blossoms.  This was a cookie that my Mom never made growing up and I was only introduced to it in middle school at my friends house.  Her mom made these and I remember sneaking into the dining room where she would have all the cookies stored and I’d unwrap a plate and eat all the pb blossoms off it. hehehehe I just couldn’t help myself!  I’m sure her Mom went a little crazy wondering where all these cookies went! Peanut Butter Blossoms by JavaCupcake.com

And now every Christmas, I make these cookies and at least half of what I make ends up in my belly instead of on the plates of goodies I’m sharing with my friends!   These cookies are super easy to make and are a classic cookie that’s loved by everyone.  This recipe comes directly from the Hershey’s website and I did nothing special to it… cause it’s perfect the way it is!

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Blossoms by JavaCupcake.com-4

 

Peanut Butter Blossoms
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 48 Hershey's Kisses chocolate candies
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup Peanut Butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Additional granulated sugar for rolling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.
  3. Add ⅓ cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.
  4. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.
  5. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each
  9. cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

 

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms

For the second year, I’m participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  Last year I was paired with two other bloggers both stationed in Europe but this year I’ve got a fabulous new group of food bloggers to send to!

Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms by JavaCupcake.com

You must check out these ladies & their blogs!  The things they come up with are AH-MAY-ZING!

Sara Croft @ Solid Gold Eats

I didn’t even realize it, but Sara has made a cookie similar to the ones I’ve made for the cookie swap! Check out her Chocolate and Peppermint Blossoms!  She also has a ton of other great dinner and side dishes ideas.  I think I need to bookmark her blog for next week’s meal planning!

Audra Fullerton @ The Baker Chick

Audra is a baker after my own heart.  Seriously, everything she posts on her blog… I want to bake.  Recently, she posted a recipe for a Cranberry Meringue Pie.  I mean, WOAH.  Cranberry pie!!  I think I need to make this… ASAP!

TammyJo Eckhart @ The Chocolate Cult

A blog all about chocolate?  Have I died and gone to heaven? I think so!  TammyJo shares so many mouth watering ideas for ways to use chocolate that I never even dreamed of… including these Chocolate Waffles!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012The cookies I made for this Cookie Swap are a spin on my favorite Christmas cookie, the Chocolate Crinkle.   I took Betty Crocker’s recipe from my 1963 Cooky Book and added some peppermint then topped them with a Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss chocolate!  These Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms are the perfect combination of chocolate and peppermint for the holidays!

I can’t wait to see what TammyJo, Sara and Audra come up with! :)

Enjoy!

Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms
 
Ingredients
  • 4oz unsweetened bakers chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Candy Cane Hershey Kiss candies
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar, oil and melted chocolate.
  2. One at a time, add the eggs. Mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
  5. Add the flour to the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth and combined.
  6. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Unwrap 5 dozen Candy Cane Kiss candies.
  9. Roll teaspoon sized balls of dough in your hand. Toss them in powdered sugar until they are coated.
  10. Arrange them on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake 8-9 minutes.
  12. Immediately press a Kiss into the center of each cookie. Allow cookie to cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.

 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Hug Cookies

Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away… and you know what that means? LOTS AND LOTS of delicious baked yummies all colored in pink and red for this holiday full of LOVE!

Actually, it’s just another reason for me to bake. Haha. My hubby and I don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day because he’s either been in the field training or deployed to war. This year, he’s home…. but we’re still not celebrating.

Instead, I’ll be making cookies and cupcakes in the weeks leading up to this mushy, pink, lovey dovey holiday!

But seriously, is anyone really going to complain about that? Probably not!

My first cookie is a spin on all the holiday blossom cookies I made during December. Hershey’s has a raspberry filled white and pink hug KISS this season which I thought would go perfectly on top of a blossom cookie! So these cookies are made with my favorite raspberry jam and a super dark chocolate rolled in hot pink sugar crystals and topped with a Hershey’s Raspberry Kiss! nom nom nom nom

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Hugs Blossom Cookies
Makes 3+ dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup raspberry jam (I used Smuckers because it’s my favorite!)
2 cups flour
2 tbsp milk
3.5 oz chopped 70% dark chocolate, chopped

1 cup hot pink sanding sugar
Hershey’s Raspberry Hug Kisses

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla.   About 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the raspberry jam, scrape the sides of the bowl, and mix until well combined.
  4. Add the flour and mix on medium speed until combined.  Add the milk just before flour is completely combined.   This will help the flour incorporate into the dough.
  5. Add the chopped chocolate and fold in using a spatula.
  6. Chill for 20 minutes in refrigerator.
  7. Scoop 1 inch balls of dough and roll in hot pink sugar crystals.   Place on a baking sheet at least 1-2 inches apart.  (Note: Don’t roll dough balls any larger than 1 inch or they will spread too much on your cookie sheet!)
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
  9. Immediately press a Raspberry Hug into the middle of each cookie.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Eat and enjoy!

Chocolate Cherry Blossoms

I went a little bit crazy buying the different variations of the Hershey Kiss this holiday season.  And when I say a little crazy… I mean I bought at least a dozen bags of them.  Just to bake cookies.

I know.  Obsessive.

But whatever.  It’s Christmas!

So today…  I originally wanted to make a peppermint sugar cookie, but then decided to use these Chocolate Cherry Kisses that had been sitting in the candy bowl screamed to be used up.  Also in my cabinet was a jar of marichino cherries and some mini chocolate chips.

DING DING DING! We have a WINNER!

Cherries + Chocolate = DELICIOUS

Cherries + Chocolate + Cookies = HEAVEN

This cookie is so super simple and easy to make… almost too easy.   And even better than it’s simplicity… it’s almost VEGAN! No eggs or dairy!  (Sub a non-animal shortening for the butter and you’ve got Vegan! HORRAY!)

ENJOY!

Chocolate Cherry Blossoms
Makes 2-3 dozen cookies (depending on size)

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 tsp Maraschino cherry juice (the juice your cherries come in!)
1/4 tsp almond extract (vanilla is okay too if you don’t have almond)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup Maraschino cherries, chopped
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup sugar
Hershey’s Chocolate Cherry Kisses, unwrapped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the salt, butter and powdered sugar.
  3. Add the cherry juice and extract and mix until combined.  Don’t forget to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl!
  4. Add the flour and mix just until combined.
  5. Fold in the chopped cherries and mini chocolate chips.
  6. Using a tiny 1in ice cream scoop… scoop then roll 1in balls of dough in your hand.  Roll them in the 1/2 cup sugar and place them on your cookie sheet 2in apart.
  7. Using the bottom of a glass, press the dough slightly to flatten… not too much, we don’t want pancake cookies!
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until bottoms of cookies just begin to brown.
  9. As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, press a Kiss into the center of each cookie.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.
  10. I actually ran out of Kisses, so some of the cookies got a drizzle of a simple chocolate ganache on top!
  11. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from  Chickens in the Road.

White Chocolate topped Gingerbread Blossoms

Chewy ginger and molasses cookies rolled in sugar and topped with white chocolate, these cookies are perfect for the Fall season!

White Chocolate Topped Gingerbread Blossom Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

Before I get to these cookies… I have a few confessions to make.

Confession #1:  I love the Holiday season for one huge reason… It gives me an excuse to BAKE ALL THE TIME.

Confession #2:  I HOARD baking supplies.  This is a new thing for me.  Since moving to Germany, the luxuries of American grocery stores, having everything I need, at my disposal, all of the time is not a reality here.  When I see something at my local military commissary, I buy it… in bulk.

Confession #3:  I think “blossoms” may be becoming my favorite holiday cookie.  I have discovered two new ways of making them other than the traditional peanut butter with chocolate on top.  First, was my White Chocolate with Peppermint Kiss Blossoms and now these.  Gingerbread blossoms topped with white chocolate chips.

Confession #4: I’ve come to the realization that I’m not going to make it though the Holiday season without gaining 10lbs just from cookies.  It’s okay though, I’ll blame it on the pregnancy.

White Chocolate Topped Gingerbread Blossom Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

 

So maybe these White Chocolate topped Gingerbread Blossoms are my new favorite cookie.  Covered in sugar and topped with white chocolate, they taste like Fall in my mouth.

And maybe, I’ll stop baking cookies.

Probably not.

At least not until January.

Enjoy!

White Chocolate topped Gingerbread Blossoms
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 3-4 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (12 tbsp or 1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup full flavor molasses
  • 1 tbsp bourbon whiskey (you can substitute vanilla if you don't have bourbon)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger (fresh if possible)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg (fresh if possible)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the egg to the sugar/butter and cream for another 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Slowly pour in molasses and bourbon then beat until combined.
  5. In three parts, add the flour mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl between each addition. Mix just until combined.
  6. Add the milk and mix only until incorporated.
  7. Scrape the sides of the bowl and pat the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour to firm. If you have time, you can put the dough into the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
  8. When ready to bake your cookies, line cookie sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 F degrees.
  9. Scoop 1-inch balls of dough using an ice cream scoop and form them into a ball using your hands. Roll them in the sugar then place 2 inches apart on your lined cookie sheet.
  10. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Do not over bake!
  11. Immediately press your thumb into the top of each cookie. Drop 6 white chocolate chips into the well you just created then remove cookies to a wire rack.
  12. After chocolate begins to melt, use a toothpick to swirl the chocolate together into a pretty swirl.
  13. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

White Chocolate Candy Cane Blossoms

Halloween is barely over…. Thanksgiving is still two weeks away… but this girl has CHRISTMAS on the brain!  Last weekend I made white chocolate peppermint cupcakes for the craft fair which were a HUGE HIT.  I had some left over Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss chocolates and figured I’d come up with something delicious to make with them.

Peanut butter blossom cookies are traditionally made with a peanut butter cookie and a Hershey Kiss… but I thought, what about a white chocolate cookie and a Candy Cane Kiss?  PERFECT!

Now, I know that white chocolate liqueur might not be easy to find… so you could make these with vanilla extract and some milk instead of the liqueur.  But, if you can find the white chocolate… use it.  It’s subtle but SO YUMMO.

White Chocolate Candy Cane Blossoms
Makes 2 dozen (and a few extra) cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp white chocolate liqueur
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Green and red sugar crystals
1 bag of Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. Cream together, with an electric mixer, the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the egg and beat on high for 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.  Scrape the sides and beat again for 1 minute.
  5. Mix in the white chocolate liqueur.
  6. Add the flour and mix on medium speed just until combined.  Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all the flour is incorporated.  Do not over mix.
  7. Roll 12 1-inch balls of dough in the red sugar crystals and place on cookie sheet.
  8. Roll 12 1-inch balls of dough in the green sugar crystals and place a cookie sheet.
  9. Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Cool on pan for 1 minute then place an unwrapped Candy Cane Kiss in the center of each cookie.
  11. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.